Plans to 3D-Scan Historical Sculpture

sigurjón ólafsson

Experts are planning to attempt to recreate Saltfiskstöflun, “Stacking Saltfish,” by Sigurjón Ólafsson. RÚV reports.

Sigurjón Ólafsson, born 1908, was a significant figure in Icelandic art history, working in both abstract and realistic forms. The original, which is now in poor condition, was the sculptor’s largest-ever work at the time of its creation.

The artwork has stood in the Mariner School’s courtyard for 70 years. The piece was a tribute to Icelandic women who worked in fish processing and it was considered unconventional and radical at the time.

The government purchased the work from Sigurjón in 1946, and it was cast and installed in 1953. Maintenance and care are the responsibility of Reykjavik City.

Birgitta Spur, Sigurjón’s widow and founder of the Sigurjón Ólafsson Art Museum (LSÓ), stated to RÚV: “I believe it is the last resort to try and obtain a 3D scan of the artwork for preservation. It seems its lifetime is over,” says Birgitta.

Experts who have evaluated the artwork agree that it is in poor condition and cannot be salvaged as it is.

Currently, the plan is to make a plastic mould from a 3D scan. A new sculpture will then be cast from the mould. Experts estimate that the entire project could take seven to eight months to complete.

Man Pronounced Dead After Collapsing at Eruption Site

fatal accident Iceland

Reykjanes police announced that a man in his fifties collapsed yesterday, July 18, at the eruption site. After being evacuated to the hospital, the man was pronounced dead.

The man is stated to have had a pre-existing condition and did not die directly from the eruption. Local authorities have provided no further details at this time.

ICE-SAR and local police also recorded several other incidents at the eruption site yesterday.

  • A woman with back problems received assistance from ICE-SAR teams and was escorted back to the parking lot.
  • A 12-year-old girl suffered from exhaustion and had to be carried off trail by ICE-SAR.
  • A group of four tourists didn’t trust themselves to make the return trip and required assistance.
  • A group of ATV riders did not follow police directions at the site.

The Reykjanes eruption site is dangerous, and visitors are instructed to avoid areas marked as hazardous. Rescue operations at an active volcano are risky, and ICE-SAR has stated that it will not endanger the lives of its team.





Largest Moss Fires On Record

reykjanes eruption 2023

Since the beginning of the Litli-Hrútur eruption on July 10, some 250 hectares [617 acres] of moss have burned. The wildfires on the Reykjanes peninsula are the largest-ever since records began, according to a recent report by the Icelandic Institute of Natural History.

Wildfires in the area began shortly after the eruption on Reykjanes, spreading rapidly to the North, East, and South. Efforts to contain the wildfires are still ongoing, with ICE-SAR, local firefighting teams, and the coastguard helicopter all taking part.

Aerial photographs taken by the Icelandic Institute of Natural History on July 11 showed that 15 hectares were burned, but only two days later, on July 13, an additional 95 hectares had burned, and the fire has spread significantly since.


reykjanes eruption wildfires
Járngerður Grétarsdóttir – Icelandic Institute of Natural History

Experts from the Icelandic Institute of Natural History state that from an environmental and conservation perspective, it is crucial to curb the spread of wildfires. When moss burns, the damage to vegetation is comparatively greater compared to grassland or wetland fires. According to the report, roots are often left intact after wildfires in grass- and wetlands, meaning that regrowth after such fires is relatively rapid. Moss, however, has no roots, meaning that regrowth takes considerably longer in moss fires.

Overall biodiversity is also affected, including small animals and birds. After a moss fire vegetation can entirely disappear, creating a risk of soil erosion and desertification. Luckily, experts report that due to the low-lying nature of the area, the risk of soil erosion is reduced. However, regrowth may still take decades.

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